Phoenix Drug Crime Defense Attorney
Drug Offense Frequently Asked Questions
Being charged with a drug crime can be a very confusing time. Because of the complexity of drug related charges and drug laws in Arizona, you need a Phoenix Drug Crime Defense Attorney to help you through the criminal process to make sure your rights are protected. As an experienced drug offense lawyer, Joshua S. Davidson has noticed some questions that are consistently brought up by clients and has posted them here for your benefit.
If I plan on pleading guilty to my drug charges, do I still need a lawyer?
Of course! Your case is not over the second you plead guilty, and it what your sentence will be still has to be decided. Having a drug crime defense lawyer to represent you and negotiate on your behalf will help minimize whatever sentence you receive. Having a trained legal professional looking out for your constitutional rights can do nothing but benefit your case, and once you discuss your case with an attorney you may discover that a guilty plea is not your only option. It is very important that you consult a qualified and experienced lawyer before making any decisions regarding your case. Moreover, an experienced drug defense attorney like Joshua S. Davidson knows how to identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and use them to help negotiate a favorable resolution in your case. Let there be no mistake, when it is in his client's best interestes to proceed to trial in a drug case, that is exactly what Joshua S. Davidson will recommen. Unlike other attorneys who avoid going to trial at all costs, Joshua S. Davidson relishes the opportunity put his litigation skills to work in squaring off with the prosecution at trial. If, however, a plea bargain is going to provide the best outcome in your case, you still need an experienced drug defese attorney at your side to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.
What are the “schedules” of controlled substances?
Under federal law, drugs are classified into five categories based on their potential for abuse and dependency and whether or not they have any medicinal or therapeutic value. Schedule I controlled substances have the highest potential for dependency, and no therapeutic or medicinal value. Schedule V controlled substances have the lowest potential for dependency and have accepted medical and therapeutic uses. Drug crimes involving Schedule I substances receive harsher penalties than those in Schedule V. Arizona drug law provides its own drug classifcation system and categorizes illegal drugs into one of three schedules: Narcotic Drugs (such as heroin, cocaine and many prescription pain killers), Dangerous Drugs (which includes crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy, PCP and LSD) and Marijuana. The potential penalties for a drug confiction may depend in part on the type of classification the drug receives under Arizona drug law.
What are Drug Courts?
Drug courts are special courts responsible for handling cases involving drug-addicted offenders through an extensive supervision and treatment program. As opposed to a normal court system, drug courts are collaborative partnerships between health treatment systems and program participants attempting to end cycles of addiction that lead to crime. Drug courts favor rehabilitation over jail as a solution to drug problems and successful completion of drug court programs can result in a reduction of charges and sentences. Other alternative treatment programs such as "TASC" or diversion may also be available in your case which, if successfully completed, would allow your drug charge to be dismissed altogether.
How will my sentence be determined?
Federal and State courts will use sentencing guidelines to determine what sentence will come with the drug crime conviction. These guidelines were created in an effort to make drug crime sentences more consistent throughout certain areas. The severity of the drug crime, type of offense and the defendant’s criminal history will also be used in determining the range of sentence. For sale offenses including possession for sale and transportation for sale, the defendant may be required to serve a prison term if convicted even if they have prior criminal record.
What are some common legal defenses to drug crimes?
It is common in many Phoenix drug cases for evidence to be obtained by police and investigators in an illegal manner. If the defendant’s Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights or Fifth Amendment self incrimination rights were violated by police, then the evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissable and the case might be dismissed as a result. By conducting a thorough defense investigation into your case, Joshua S. Davidson will ascertain if proper procedures were not followed by Phoenix law officials and he will file the appropriate motions to suppress evidence with the court.
What are some of the consequences of a drug conviction?
If the type of drug charge you are convicted with is a felony offense, it could mean prison, a large fine and a permanent mark on your record. There are other long-term consequences for having a felony on your record, and if convicted, you could miss out on jobs or other opportunities.
If you have questions regarding your drug crime charges, contact Phoenix Drug Crime Defense Attorney Joshua S. Davidson today!